Essex County Council currently operates a multiple provider day opportunities framework which was designed to support adults aged 18 and over to access a range of purposeful activities outside their own home which enable individuals to increase their skills, gain independence, and develop confidence in their own community. This framework also incorporates the provision of respite for unpaid carers.
The current framework supports the following cohorts:
- Adults with a Disability (AWD): support for individuals with learning disabilities including autistic spectrum disorders and/or physical and sensory impairments.
- Older People (OP): support to enable adults to play an active and valued role in their community and retain their skills, knowledge and independence for as long as possible, whilst reducing their dependency upon traditional day services.
- Unpaid Carers: provision of respite from their informal caring role.
- Young people aged 18-25
In addition, the Council also operates an onboarding scheme which is designed to secure support for vulnerable adults whose needs cannot be met by an existing framework provider to mitigate the risk of unmet needs.
The current framework is due to expire on 30th September 2022 and the Council is currently co-producing the future direction of travel for this service in conjunction with existing and prospective providers, individuals with lived experience and their representatives/carers.
The scope of the new day opportunities offer will be informed by the strategic commissioning aims as articulated in the Meaningful Lives Matters programme (MLM).
One of the core MLM projects involved the co-design of a new strategic partnership agreement with Essex Cares Limited (ECL). This service was designed to support adults with a disability and/or autism achieve their ambition to explore meaningful employment and provide adults with more choice and control over their support options. This service commenced on 1st April 2020 and has successfully supported over 120 adults to secure paid employment despite the constraints of the COVID pandemic. The success of this offer has informed the Council’s commissioning intentions for the service redesign of day opportunities alongside considering how to incorporate the positive lessons learned from implementing alternative support offers during the emergency phases of the COVID pandemic.